There are basically three government-owned universities in Kano State – Bayero University Kano (BUK) which is the first in the state and belongs to the federal government, Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST) Wudil as well as Yusuf Maitama Sule University (YMSU) Kano (formally Northwest University), owned by the state government. The fourth university in the state – Skyline University of Nigeria (SUN) is privately owned and an offshoot of the Skyline University Sharjah in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).
The YMSU has literally no student living on campus because their hostels are not yet completed and so all the students live off-campus.
Alhaji Musa Muhammad is in-charge of the hostels which are actually off-campus but rented and maintained by the university. He said “You hardly find any hotel, if not those five-star hotels, that could compete with our students hostels in terms of comfort and provisions.
“We have single and double rooms in an apartment, and as the name implies, single is only for one person and the double for two students. And we have only five students per apartment who have their well-furnished sitting room, dining space as well as DSTV and free WiFi.
All their rooms have air conditioners and all their toilets have water heaters. They also have a laundry per apartment and each equipped with a washing machine. We also give free hostel kits with blankets, pillow cases, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, and some other items to each of the students,” he stated.
In terms of security, Alhaji Muhammad said, there are both armed securities and what they called MU security personnel, who are not armed but look after the students and assist them whenever the need arises. At the KUST, some students who spoke with our reporter said most of the hostels were relatively new and as such in good state.
We have about eight hostels – Kwankwasiya, Areas 1, 2 & 3, Dangote and Russia are all relatively new buildings, well taken care of, and most of them were renovated after the last riot. We have our electrical fittings intact, except maybe in a few instances where the students spoilt some of them. We have our openings, doors and windows in good shape and we have wardrobes in most of the rooms if not all, though they are not enough for the entire student,” a student has said.
At the new campus of the BUK, there are about eight hostels for the male students and three for the females. Umaru Musa Yar’adua Hall is the latest to be commissioned among the male hostels and it houses 100 Level students. It is the best in terms of structure and provisions as students expressed satisfaction with what they have in the hostel.
A student who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “To be frank with you, we have everything in this block (Umar Musa Yar’adua) as far as students’ hostel is concerned. There may be some issues here and there, but we are okay with what we have compared to other blocks.
Our major problem in this block is that of some students’ maintenance culture, which is very bad. We have laundry but most of them will not make use of it but rather wash their cloths, plates and kitchen utensils everywhere and pour away the dirty water anyhow.
If the school authority would come up with some sort of disciplinary measure on anyone caught with such bad attitude, I think it would act as a deterrent because as I said earlier, the school authority really did its best,” he said.
Another student also complained about some students’ carelessness with regard to using the toilets. “As far as I am concerned, Water Closet (WC) is not appropriate for this kind of gathering. They should have made pit toilets for us,” he said. There are three double bunks in each of the rooms with six students occupying a room and their group of toilets at the end of each block of rooms. There are also a block of 14 extra toilets outside the main building as well as taps where students fetch water for daily usage.
Dangote Hall houses 500 Level students as well as some post graduate students. It is relatively clean with the building in good shape. It has double bunks in all the rooms also occupied by six students each. There’s Dantata Hall, which has larger rooms housing 8 to 10 students (Some of who are actually squatters). In this block, most of the rooms have only one or two bunks, while the other students have to use their mattresses on the floor.
Other halls at the new campus include Idris Garba, El-Kanemi and Sa’adu Zungur Block A, B and C. All these are relatively old and, as a result, have some issues particularly with their toilets.
At Idris Garba Hall for instance, some students complained of some of the toilets being locked up as those open are inadequate for the number of students occupying the floor. When contacted, the Deputy Dean Student Affairs (New Campus), Dr Ibrahim Tafida, said “The fact that some of the toilets were locked up may not be unconnected with complaints from the students and cleaners. Those toilets need to be repaired, which was why they were locked.
Most of those toilets were blocked. And as I speak with you, even today, we repaired some toilets and you know you have to allow them to dry before you open them again for usage,” he said. On the female halls, Gambo Sawaba was recently commissioned and it is in a very good shape. At the other halls – Ramat and Hasiya Bayero, students complained of having issues with their toilets.
We know the school authority is doing its best, but the issues might be because the buildings are old. We don’t have running water inside but we have taps and boreholes within the compound from where we fetch water,” a female student said. In all the hostels there are cleaners who wash the toilets every day, but perhaps due to the large number of the occupants and the nature of some students, the issues must always be there. Most of the students expressed satisfaction with the state of their hostels, taking into consideration that in a public place like that, they cannot get all they need.
Even if you accommodate this number of students in the best hotel in Kano, some will still misuse it and make it look bad and unkempt due to their bad maintenance culture,” a student commented. At the old campus, students said there are basically three types of hostels which serve different purposes. “We actually have the best block which houses the foreign students. It is standard and they have everything. We then have a block for post graduate students, which is relatively okay, and the rest are for the undergraduate and we have some issues with regards to toilets and some electrical fittings,” a student said.
In terms of electrical fittings, except at the old campus where students complained of some issues in their rooms, most of the students at the new campus said they have no issue with electrical fittings as well as power supply, except on few occasions. In almost all the hostels (both male and female) at KUST as well as BUK, students cook their food either in their rooms (using either kerosene stove or gas cookers) or at the balcony, because kitchens were not provided for that purpose. In BUK, students said a bed space is N18,090 in Umar Musa Yar’adua and Dangote Blocks while in other blocks without enough beds and mattresses, it was N10,090 through online application.
However, in KUST students pay N6,000 for a bed space.